12 episodes

An immersive series from Nashville Public Radio about inequality and the people trying to rise above it, with host and reporter Meribah Knight. In Season 1 of The Promise, we told the story of Nashville's largest public housing complex, smack in the middle of a city on the rise. In Season 2, we explore how that divide reveals itself in the classroom. One neighborhood, two schools — one black and poor, the other white and well-off, and the kids stuck in the middle.  

The Promise Nashville Public Radio

    • Society & Culture
    • 5.0, 2 Ratings

An immersive series from Nashville Public Radio about inequality and the people trying to rise above it, with host and reporter Meribah Knight. In Season 1 of The Promise, we told the story of Nashville's largest public housing complex, smack in the middle of a city on the rise. In Season 2, we explore how that divide reveals itself in the classroom. One neighborhood, two schools — one black and poor, the other white and well-off, and the kids stuck in the middle.  

    A Teaser

    A Teaser

    This season on The Promise, we’re exploring the thorny subject of public education and race. Two public elementary schools just over a mile apart. One is overwhelmingly black and poor, the other is almost exclusively white and well off. What happens when the neighborhood begins to notice? 

    • 1 min
    Sneak Peek

    Sneak Peek

    This season on The Promise, we take on one of the most divisive topics in America: public education.  

    We spend the year at Warner Elementary, a struggling school in East Nashville, Tennessee. Warner’s students are almost all black and almost all poor, despite the fact that the neighborhood is far from it. The school’s test scores are in the doldrums, its enrollment is dropping. But it’s about to embark on one of the most ambitious turnaround efforts in district history.  

    Will it succeed?  

    • 6 min
    Update: Letting Go

    Update: Letting Go

    Ms. Vernell has another big decision to make: to stay in Cayce through the chaos of redevelopment, or to leave? Her conclusion reveals something about this long, messy process to overhaul Nashville’s public housing. What happens when residents get tired — tired of being told to keep waiting, tired of being asked to keep moving … just tired?

    • 23 min
    Bonus 2: The Big Man Interview

    Bonus 2: The Big Man Interview

    If you've listened to The Promise, you no doubt remember Dexter Turner, aka Big Man. We met him in episode 2. The husband, father and community leader with a quick wit and a large personality had been planning a family barbecue, when a fatal shooting happened right in front of his apartment. In this episode, Meribah Knight speaks with Big Man months later, live on stage at Nashville Public Radio's Podcast Party.

    • 14 min
    Bonus

    Bonus

    We return to the James Cayce Homes to follow up with residents amid the $600 million overhaul. But in checking back, we trip into some news. And we’re reminded, yet again, of how difficult it will be to pull off this massive redevelopment. As the city preps to turn its largest public housing projects into a mixed income development, Cayce residents have to sign a new agreement with steeper fines for late rent, stricter limits on guests and cleaning rules. Plus, higher income tenants won’t have to sign it, which is making residents all the more skeptical, casting doubt on whether the housing authority can really deliver on its promise: To build a community where both the city’s poorest residents and prosperous city-dwellers can live in harmony.

    • 28 min
    Part 6: The Future

    Part 6: The Future

    Does this big idea to have low-income and higher income people living side-by-side really make a community better, safer, healthier? As The Promise comes to a close, we dig into the fundamental question driving this massive overhaul of Nashville’s public housing.  

    The city’s housing agency is betting on mixed income, big time. But its only attempts have been on a much smaller scale than what’s envisioned for the James Cayce Homes. We explore one particular attempt, at a housing complex nearby known as John Henry Hale. And what we find reveals that building pretty homes, and putting people side-by-side doesn’t necessarily produce a flourishing community.

    Music Credits: 
    The Insider, Black Ant, and James Pants, all found through the Free Music Archive

    Production Credits: 
    Writing and reporting: Meribah Knight
    Editing: Blake Farmer, Anita Bugg. With additional help from Tony Gonzalez
    Sound Design: Tony Gonzalez

    • 25 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
2 Ratings

2 Ratings

Top Podcasts In Society & Culture

Listeners Also Subscribed To

More by Nashville Public Radio